Wednesday, July 22, 2015



Again, not sure how it's spelled. In Ewe, it means "How are you" and the response is Mefo, "I am fine". You don't say, "I'm good", or "It's great" or anything else. Everyone just says, "I am fine!" And it is still good. Fine, actually! I also learned to make fried rice this week, and it was totally killer! When in doubt, just assume that Elder Harris is a good chef.

For a quick overview, the week was totally great! I went to zone conference this week and totally felt enlightened and uplifted walking away. Saw some new faces, and all of the Americans leaving to go home, who laughed at me, who I laughed at back because they have to leave, haha .Also I ate like 2 meals of the fried rice they brought. I eat too much, but I don't think I'm gaining weight, so I'm good!
So, to start then.


Totally killer, Brother Michael made us this super huge stew(sauce) and an entire packet of spaghetti each. Not sure if I included it last week, but it still makes me feel full thinking about it. Then Elder Quaye gave me the recipe for ground nut stew and we all had some with rice ball! Just a food-y kind of day.


We went to teach a sister who has been coming to church, who we thought was really solid. She hasn't come the past couple of weeks, and we are slightly worried, but I think she'll have it soon! Then we had a lesson on the fall for like 2 hours. They refused to accept the part that the fall was in God's plan. God is perfect, and makes no errors, so why does this have a spontaneous fall out? They agreed he was perfect, but then started to disprove themselves. Ugh. Then we taught a long time investigator, B, who confessed his feeling of weakness in faith, which we defined for him, based on the scriptures as a thing of action. Hoping he can work through this.


Zone Conference at Kpong! Saw Elder Koronikalou, my MTC companion from Fiji, which was a surprise and was totally fantastic! The guy has had 6 baptisms in 5 weeks! Totally fantastic, in a super fruitful area and seems to be having a great time. He's out of money though because they live right by KFC, haha. During the conference, we talked about so many things, and even looked at some of the numbers for the first few months of the year. 6700 investigators at sacrament as a mission! I also took pictures with Elder Garside and Elder Aleman, going home tomorrow! Hope they have a great time!


Pretty basic day, taught Brother P about the fall, taught C about Love of God, and read from 4 Nephi with her. Then we had our Doctrinal class.


We taught A about the Atonement, and are still excited for her baptism on saturday with Brother P! Then we taught L again about the fall, and she still confuses me. Didn't accept anything about the fall being a part of the plan again, but then bought us bananas, and then prayed to thank God for His messengers. Then we taught JJ and B, and visited our new Investigator M who believes Joseph Smith was a prophet! It's great! So much hope for this guy.


No real significant lessons. Taught Pl and her friend Pa, who we think have long term potentiial, then we had an intro lesson with a new guy who kept asking me questions about America, and if I could help him get there, then we saw P, had a discussion wehere they attacked the Book of Mormon without even seeing it, and then cleaned the chapel. Still good.


Looong day of meetings. Good though! 11 investigators at church. Eleven!!! Holy cow! Had a presidency meeting, and pretty much had our time swallowed by other meetings.

For a spiritual thought today, I just want to talk about how God is prominent in all of our lives. All this week and other weeks, we have been teaching all these people, and trying to prepare them, but it seems that God has prepared his own list of people. Most of the people who came to church contacted us, not the other way around. Even though we are expected to work hard, and things will work out if we do, God will bless our work.  So often with a work, we didn't expect or even prepare in any way. In the words of Elder Fayeampah in our MTC, "God has prepared the way, he has sowed the field, watered it, nourished it, and even picked all the little weeds"., If we do our best to follow God and do His work, he will do everything else!!

Love you guys,

Elder Harris

Saw my MTC companion at Zone conference! Totally great!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015



So this week is totally killer. Just a couple key fantastic stories and some pretty routine days. Also, for the title, "Aiko!" here in Ghana, Aiko is the greeting. It translates to "well done" and it's just whenever you see other people, or somebody who's done something good even not for a greeting. The acceptance of said greeting is "Iyae" like eye-eh(hard a sound). Also, finally uploading a picture of doing the laundry by hand! Africaaaa! Totally feel like I'm in the groove here now. It's a good day. 

So, for the week, it actually went really well. Now, I have to talk about what happened when we went home the last Monday. It was totally insane! So we got on the tro-tro(bus),

to take the boat across one city to take a taxi to get to another city, when all of a sudden Elder Ojaide stops to ask about some plantain chips and buy some, which he doesn't even go for most of the time. I also spontaneously look at the sweet bao, and want to buy some, only to find that my wallet is not in my pocket. I'd left it in the tro tro! We chartered a taxi and started chasing the bus like nobody's business, and only had enough money to get to K. Then we had this random thought to see if the travelling AP was staying there somehow, and by His grace he was there! We went to the K apartment and got in his car and as soon as we pulled out (a little after) we see the tro-tro BEHIND us. We get out, and it turns out that somehow the guys had identified us as Elders(even in our soccer clothing) and managed to visit both the Senchi church building to drop it off to other missionaries, and they were now passing by the K building. Totally awesome! Totally a miracle! If the taxi had let us keep going, we never would have seen the tro tro, and if Elder Garside had been quicker getting ready, or if he hadn't been there in K, we also would have missed them. Totally a miracle from God!


I printed out this talk entitled "Self Image, Self Love and Salvation" that totally gives a new view into the perspective of pride.  (Talk found here:  Self-Image, Self-Love, and Salvation - James Faulconer ) I would say it might have totally changed my life. I also got a package from home that totally contained everything I need! Skittles man! I never knew I would like them so much. At first I thought "Oh, Skittles" but then I started eating them. I guess I'm sugar depraved! Haha Anyways, we came back from our district meeting and taught a lesson to P and his wife, who we hope will become more interested in the church. Then we taught JJ about the Priesthood, and how he would soon hold it. 


Again, continued to have my mind blown about that talk. On Wednesday we gave R a baptismal date, that we think she will take after a year of teaching.(she even brought her mom to church! Great!). Then the B's popped by with sandwiches, pringles, fruit snacks and cookies for lunch. Have I mentioned how much I love them? Then we taught L for the first time, and what we thought would be a disinterested lesson actually turned out to be fantastic. She had so many questions and seemed to be taking everything with an open heart. Hopefully with more lessons we might come to learn a little more with her. Then we taught Li and B.  L also shared an experience of travelling to Nigeria and being healed after 13 years of coughing blood. Total faith on her part, so powerful to hear about. Then we taught B about the Priesthood as well, and I feel like we are beginning to really catch him! His baptism and church service will really get him on the path to a better life.


After eating coco porridge for breakfast, we went to teach S, and ended up teaching a large crowd actually. And S was answering most of the questions by herself actually! (she has been attending church for a long time, but just came from Tema, hadn't been baptized because of a bit of confusion and policy change) and we think it is totally time for her! Then we taught J and N about Degrees of Glory and the Atonement, and they took it in. We asked them if their churches talked about these things and they said no, and we are going to talk to them about the restored gospel next time. Then we watched The Testaments for our Doctrinal Class, which had a good turnout.


Crazy long light out. No power from when we woke up to like, 5 in the afternoon. It's been super frequent lately. We talked to G and extended a baptismal date, which we think she will keep, but it has to be once she's done tavelling. Then we talked to JJ, who had a concern since one of the members fell asleep in gospel doctrines(just about gave us a heart attack when he said something was up) and then talked to P about the beginning of lesson 2. 


Went on exchanges with the district leader, Elder Tyokolwana, to S/A.   Basically whitewashing the area, and only had one appointment for the day. Spent most of the time tracting. Fuun. Man, though, it was pretty good. We taught this kid H, who just had so many questions, we ended talking about the millennium! Then we taught a few other people (ended up having 6 lessons for the day) and we went back to write my talk for church on Sunday and get ready to exchange again.


Gave a talk in church on being witnesses of Jesus Christ, which was pretty good (the district 2nd counselor quoted me in the district training meeting, haha) and then went to see a sick investigator and give her a priesthood blessing. Then we went to the district training meeting and learned about operating a branch a little more. Gotta magnify my calling!


So today, I did laundry for a while, and we went to brother M''s for a stew (sauce) we payed him to make for us, and it turns out that for us to try it out, he made both of us a packet of spaghetti EACH. Holy cow, that took some effort to pile all that down. I ain't really complaining though. I'll also have enough stew to last a while! Good day.

As for this week's spiritual thought, you guessed it, based on that talk I read I'm totally thinking of pride like nonstop. Pride is such a powerful thing in so many ways, but our society is far too concerned with it. We are all so concerned with having a "positive self image", even in the church, but then we look at the scriptures and realize that there are absolutely no references to self image at all. When looking at God and Jesus Christ, they never talk about themselves, or how they see themselves. When Moses asks God who he [Moses] is, He answers that He will be with him. When Moses asks who God is, He answers "I am that I am." He simply is. He does not define Himself by his own positive self image. He simply is, and works for our Salvation. The only time He talks of Love in the scriptures is when He talks about His Son, or His love for the world. In the same way, we should spend more time focused on our love for God and for the people around us, and less on the way we see ourselves, and working on our pride. 

Anyways, Love you all, you are the best!!!

-Elder Harris

Sunday, July 12, 2015

CoCo Porridge

Coco Porridge

I'm sorry, the best title I can think of this week is a food I had for the first time. I'll try to think of them more throughout the week, but I honestly think I'll forget most of the time. And this week's email will be shorter than others. This week didn't have a lot going on inside. Mostly transit to distant places and so forth. I did realize also that I need to be better at making oatmeal tastier...

So, I guess we'll go!

I had coco porridge for the first time! Honestly buying food that comes out of a random cooler and they just put it in a plastic bag is kind of sketchy, but you get used to it, haha. As long as you heat it up enough and keep it safe, you're fine. But when I get Typhoid I'll let you know. I think I'll add a little sugar to coco in the future though. We had cleaning inspections and we passed with a passionate 10!! Righteous! We went by to teach Sister Pe, and it turns out she'd been reading, and she'd already read like half of the Gospel Principles manual, and she loved it! Holy cow! She's great! Got hopes for her!

Elder Ojaide's birthday! I woke up early and made us pancakes! Used this concentrated milk as a syrup, which was the best idea I've had since coming to Africa! (Later I added ground nut paste [like peanut butter] to the mix and found heaven). I also learned that I am eternally hungry. I eat breakfast, we have companionship study, I eat second breakfast, we eat lunch, before we leave for lunch I eat a little more, and then we come back and eat dinner. I think I have parasites or something, haha. 

We also went to another city, and we thought it might be like a 20 minute bikeride, but it was actually almost an hour. It was horrible and hilarious at the same time. We went and taught this pastor who had seen the apostasy inside and out. Corrupt pastors and a corrupt church to no end. I hope hebecomes humble, because it seemed in his mind was, "Why Joseph Smith and not me? Don't I deserve a vision?" He's a had a lot happen in his life, and I hope he can get past it. 

Again, a ton of time lost in transit today, and such a severe rain that not a lot got done. I learned to make bean porridge!

Turns out one of our most promising investigators left for Accra! She'll probably come back in a couple of months, or maybe even a few.  She had a solid baptismal date! She didn't even tell her mother she was leaving. 
Pa though, has had a sudden increase in potential! He wants to be baptized so bad, and just accepts with a sincere and powerful "I believe!" He is a good old man. He's this 70 year old guy, every muscle tendon visible! 

I also woke up with a mosquito in my bug net. There goes what I thought was protection, haha.

July 4th! Celebrated independence day in my heart! I felt it powerfully! We saw Sister Pl, who has been coming to church for a while(without even having missionary visits) and extended a baptismal date to her! At this point it's all about whether or not she begins to read in the Book of Mormon. Invited Sister Ro to church, and we'd pick her up.

We picked Sister Ro up, and went to church! Fast Sunday! Our recent convert JJ bore a short quick testimony, and I went up and got to share a bit. It was a good day. Super hungry, which meant I wasn't doing as well mentally, but hopefully the spirit took over and made it OK, haha.

Today, of course. I did laundry for a while, and made pancakes and pretty much had a good time. Also, it turns out there was a zone activity, and we came and played some futbol! My running shoes were at the Senchi apartment, since I was expecting to do exchanges with them, so I just played the African way and went straight up barefoot! IT was fantastic! And there was this little African child who played too, and I took a picture with him. Everybody here plays barefoot though. It's pretty great!

Playin' soccer barefoot with the zone, and met this youngun'!
Soccer Field

But I guess to move on, my spiritual thought this week. I have been thinking a lot about church.l Why everybody comes, and why we are commanded to meet together oft (Alma 6:6). And it comes down, I think, to the spirit we feel in the house of God. Investigators begin to make real progression when they come to church. The first thing God had Joseph Smith do after giving the foundation was to build a church. Going to church is so important in so many ways! Every single hour has such a powerful effect on us. We meet to partake of the sacrament, a sacred ordinance that is so essential to our progression, and the rest of the classes we take our time and give it to God so we can be edified and that we can edify others through the spirit. It is soo important to follow God in every way that we can, and this might be one of the most important ways! Most fundamental at least. We can't call ourselves members of Christ's church if we don't make sure to spend our time there, building his kingdom and building ourselves. On Sundays, there are so many other churches we can go to. The church of the ball game, or the church of chores, the church of games and distractions. So many other things can be used to take our time away from God, and even if they are good things sometimes, they can be replaced with the BEST things. 

I love you all! 5.47% of the way in! Rocking it so hard!

Elder Harris

JJ's Baptism

Met Elder Sargeant. Whenever you meet another Ubruni, you just gotta take a picture.
My made from scratch pancakes are better than Bisquick!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Power Time!

In honesty, it's titled power time because I have no idea what else to put. I'll run over a quick summary of this last week since the network went out last week while I was writing my email. Totally sorry guys! And I can send pictures easy now since I have found a new internet cafe that is less uptight! Anyways, there should already be some pictures since the B's saved the pictures from my one broken SD card.

Anyways, I'm not gonna lie to any of you. That first week was a hammer to the face. God taught me a lot about what my mission is going to look like and how I need to value my companions and the Gospel at its most basic level. There are so many people here who have had their lives simply made so much better by the gospel in so many ways! Our branch is small, but I feel that it will grow so quickly, and that God will prepare the way for us.

I honestly don't remember a lot about last week aside from the fact that we were running around teaching lessons, I washed my clothes by hand for the first time and I felt less stressed each day. I do remember though, there was one day, when the first half of the day, everything fell through. All of our appointments for a few hours, and then our attempts to find other people to teach, and spontaneously visit other investigators (which works 90% of the time) totally failed. Afterward, we decided that God wanted us in another part of the city, so we took off and went to a part of town that we spend less time in. We contacted a few people and taught a lesson to a couple people about the prophets and the great apostasy, and they knew the bible so well! Elder Ojaide has great hopes for these people in the future! Later in the same day this kid named M, randomly shows up to Gospel Doctrine class, likes it, and wants to come attend our church! Not a super productive numerical day, but I think these people will be good for the long run.

I bought oatmeal! Like the best idea I've had in my life. More specifically oats and brown sugar, but it's the quickest thing I can make in the mornings. Most mornings I'll either make that, or pancakes from raw ingredients, and lemme tell you, they're good pancakes. MMMM! So good. Not quite Bisquick, but hey, it's Africa, and I make them from SCRATCH! And they're good enough that they don't need syrup! Ha! Take that pre-made food that I won't see again for two very long years! Aha, ha...ha...sigh.

Monday June 22
I learned that Elder Ojaide and I have no similar popular media shared opinions. We both like super movies, but which ones were good and which ones were shallow we totally have opposite opinions on. Also, he says Eminem isn't even a big deal rapper! He wrote Rap God and nobody opposed him with it! 

Tuesday June 23
Went on an exchange with Elder C, my zone leader. It was literally a blast. I love this guy, and he taught me a lot about making sure I don't get ridiculously stressed out. Mosiah 4:27 people:

 4:27 And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order.

I had successful rice water for the first time when Elder A made it for me and shared it, and I might make it in the future. Anyways, on the way back to the city, I learned we're the only ones on the mission with authorization to get on a boat (we have to take a speedboat across this river to get to most places outside of the city because the bridge is under construction). He also used an accent when he taught, and I started using one as well.[Funny story, I used it and my companion started laughing at me, but then when we were teaching later in the week and I started slipping into American again when he just looked at me and said "use your accent". People totally understand me better even though I sound like this mesh of Indian/British/African-thingamabob. The branch president's wife even told me I sounded Finnish. Huh] Then he took me around and we figured out where to buy food around the place. It was a fun and really chill exchange.

Wednesday June 24
We taught a few lessons and finalized John Jacob for baptism, and then got pulled into this super long family problem/discussion. We tried to give a spiritual thought on forgiveness, but they just straight up wanted counsel (which it says not to in the handbook) and we were there for like 2 hours cuz we couldn't pull ourselves out.  On the bright side, the family totally respects us as missionaries, and hopefully this will lead to this part member family opening their hearts to listen to us.

Thursday June 25
We confirmed a baptismal date for A! She says the 11th will be the day for her, but we are worried that she might end up going to Accra for work before this happens. Then for lunch, Elder and Sister B dropped by having made sandwitches from PEANUT BUTTER AND NUTELLA. I love them so much, they are my favorite people. They saved the pictures on my card, and brought us a pinapple and a mango, and apples and oranges and bread. God put these wonderful people in my life, and I hope he blesses them so well. I love them, if that wasn't made clear.

We also talked to this guy who was a member of this Kristo Asafo church of Ghana, and had this weird experience. He worships Jesus Christ, but places this prophet of this church above Christ!! It was totally insane, the guy was totally brainwashed. Had the unblinking stare and didn't take in anything we were teaching really. Totally trying to missionary the missionaries as well. Not sure what to think/do with him but hope and pray that God can soften his heart and make more room for Christ in his life. Then we had Doctrinal class.

Friday June 26
I accidentally messed up in a couple lessons by skipping a topic, but we'll call that the spirit because it seemed to totally be along the train of thought that these people needed. It definitely was, but more like God making a use of my shortcomings, haha. We gave out 3 baptismal dates this day though. I'm not sure any of them will keep them, but it seems like it might help these people at least to progress. On the way back I dropped my glasses in the rain without realizing it, and had to walk a path a few times getting soaked to find them again. Joy. 

After that we went to the Royal Senchi buffet! It's like this super nice hotel, and they do an expensive buffet on Fridays and Saturdays (about 20 bucks & considering I get like 80 bucks a month for food....) and it was so fantastic. We went with a bunch of other Elders and I ate four full plates of food. I was gonna get my money's worth you see. I was in so much pain, but it was so fantastic at the same time. There were these delicious potatoes, kyelewele, meats, oooh. It was not as big as Golden Corral, but the food was so fantastic.  Then when I walked out I realized that was the best food I would have for two years, and I had it at the start of my mission. I hope we come somewhere close to here at the end of my mission. 

We stayed with the Senchi Elders and had a good time with them.

Saturday June 27
Nothing crazy happened this day really. Cleaned the church, I was super exhausted, but it was awesome. We were worried there wouldn't be people to clean, but M & D showed up and tamed all of the nearby kids. (D is the Primary President). There were like 15 kids running around cleaning the chapel well, and it was just killer! The people here are so giving and willing to take time to help somebody else. This one kid was even sweeping the rocks in front of the church, making sure that all of the rocks were together and that the dirt was on one side, haha.

Sunday June 27
We had 8 investigators at church! I think we would have had more too, but it was a children's program at another church, which was a big deal, so people went to that, but promised next week. It was fantastic. I hope we can continue to pull that! We also had a baptism! And I was the baptist! For the first time, and it was pretty cool. I am out here helping people to covenant with God, just a super spiritual feeling! 

I also fried plantains! Holy cow, fried plantains are fantastic, when I come home, I'm gonna fry plantains all the time. It totally makes me feel like an unhealthy beast, but that's OK. Because it's so gooood!! Maybe put it in some rice, or ANYTHING. You guys need to do this. I am not lying please trust me.

There's the week. I also had fufu for the first time! I'm not sure what day though. It's like this ball of dough(made of plantains) and you just dip it in the stew/sauce and shove it in your face and swallow. It's not bad, and I know I'll come to love it. I had watche (wah-chay) today as well, which is like rice and beans. Pretty dang good. A lot of rice here. Anyways, I love you guys! I hope you know how much God does for you!

I think that is my spiritual thought for the week. It just keeps hitting me over and over again how much God does for us. It becomes so clear to me that I am not really the one teaching my investigators. I am a source of information sure, but nothing truly sensational or required. God is the one who prepares them, and blesses them with the spirit, and they are the ones who are choosing to act. In truth, my job could be done by anyone worthy. I am just lucky God is letting me be here to humble me and bless me with skills and memories that I will keep for my whole life.

4.52% See you in 95.48%! (Believe it or not, 4.52% is a lot, and I feel like a boss!)

Elder Harris

My first bowl of Fufu!!!!!

Me and Elder T and Elder Q when they came for the baptismal interview.

Me being super full after spending 80 cedis at the buffet at the Royal Senchi. I was in so many levels of pain. But it was worth it.

My first Banku!

This is me fanning the fire for Banku!

Me and my companion, Elder Ojaide, in front of the chapel here.

Me and Elder Ojaide at the baptism of J J!